Lily Mayfield

Night Swim (2016)
archival inkjet print
16 x 24 in.

This project ‘Brood’ began as a documentation of my first pregnancy and quickly evolved into an ongoing and nearly obsessive photographic series of my daughter and family. I have been photographing directly from life experiences for nearly 20 years. As a feminist, my interest in family stems from a deeper need to legitimize and make visible the lives of all women, mothers, and domestic work.

Brood depicts my daughter, husband, mother, and myself in ordinary moments of life. What is not ordinary is the particular moment stilled by the camera, emphasizing light, color, and gesture. With portraiture specifically, I am moved by the infinitely variable and expressive qualities of gesture, posture and gaze and drawn to domestic space as a backdrop for private dramas. Brood consists of a mix of both documentary and staged moments; the blurred line that lies between the two fascinates me. This is what happened, and yet it is not at all what happened. These photographs reflect a transcendent moment, how it feels when the world seems to fall into alignment. By photographing my family, I commit myself to finding the extraordinary in everyday life as it unfolds. It is the subject before you, if you only choose to see it.